Creative sounds off

One of the few firms to still concentrate on manufacturing PC sound cards, Creative Technologies, has introduced a brand new product family aimed at audio enthusiasts, movie buffs and well-heeled gamers.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  August 24, 2005

One of the few firms to still concentrate on manufacturing PC sound cards, Creative Technologies, has introduced a brand new product family aimed at audio enthusiasts, movie buffs and well-heeled gamers. The firm’s Sound Blaster X-Fi range has been created to enhance the playback and production of all types of audio, and features what Creative claims is its breakthrough ‘X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity Audio Processor’, which is used to deliver the new Xtreme Fidelity audio standard. Creative’s latest Sound Blaster line-up is being optimistically billed by the firm as “the future of audio”. “We gave a sneak preview at e3 in Los Angeles, and the crowds were in awe when they heard the difference that Xtreme Fidelity makes,” said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. “We’re addressing all the excitement in time for the holidays with the introduction of the Sound Blaster X-Fi family of ultra high-performance sound cards, that can dramatically enhance any music or audio, accelerate gaming, and provide an amazing headphone experience,” Hoo added. According to Hoo, X-Fi enabled audio products look set to eventually replace old hi-fi equipment in the home. “You can expect Creative to release more and more audio product lines that support this new Xtreme Fidelity audio standard,” he predicted. Creative’s new X-Fi Sound Blaster line features four models: the professional quality X-Fi Elite Pro, complete with professional-quality digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and an I/O module; the game-ready ‘Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS’, which was built specifically to meet the demands of the world’s best-known professional gamer, Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel; the ‘X-Fi Platinum’ – a versatile card designed to suit all digital entertainment experiences; and the ‘Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic’, designed to upgrade any existing library of MP3 or any music files to the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard. This latter model also includes Creative’s MediaSource 3 software, with which users can ‘SuperRip’ (convert) all their digital music permanently to the Xtreme Fidelity standard. Each Sound Blaster X-Fi card can direct its output to any one of three key modes that have been optimised for music and movie playback (‘entertainment mode’), PC gaming (‘gaming mode’) and music production (‘audio creation mode’) respectively. Price wise, users should expect to pay US $400 for the Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro, $280 for the X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS, $200 for the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum, and $130 for the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic. Look out for comprehensive reviews only in the pages of Windows Middle East.

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